This anthology of essays on the work of David Kaplan, a leading contemporary philosopher of language, sprang from a conference, "Themes from Kaplan," organized by the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.
Since the very beginning, Confucianism has been troubled by a serious gap between its political ideals and the reality of societal circumstances. Contemporary Confucians must develop a viable method of governance that can retain the spirit of the Confucian ideal while tackling problems arising from nonideal modern situations. The best way to meet this challenge, Joseph Chan argues, is to adopt liberal democratic institutions that are shaped by the Confucian conception of the good rather than the liberal conception of (...) the right. -/- Confucian Perfectionism examines and reconstructs both Confucian political thought and liberal democratic institutions, blending them to form a new Confucian political philosophy. Chan decouples liberal democratic institutions from their popular liberal philosophical foundations in fundamental moral rights, such as popular sovereignty, political equality, and individual sovereignty. Instead, he grounds them on Confucian principles and redefines their roles and functions, thus mixing Confucianism with liberal democratic institutions in a way that strengthens both. Then he explores the implications of this new yet traditional political philosophy for fundamental issues in modern politics, including authority, democracy, human rights, civil liberties, and social justice. -/- Confucian Perfectionism critically reconfigures the Confucian political philosophy of the classical period for the contemporary era. (shrink)
In Law's Empire Prof. Ronald Dworkin has advanced a new theory of law, complex and intriguing. He calls it law as integrity. But in some ways the more radical and surprising claim he makes is that not only were previous legal philosophers mistaken about the nature of law, they were also mistaken about the nature of the philosophy of law or jurisprudence. Perhaps it is possible to summarize his main contentions on the nature of jurisprudence in three theses: First, jurisprudence (...) is interpretive: “General theories of law… aim to interpret the main point and structure of legal practice”. Second, legal philosophy cannot be a semantic account of the word “law.” Legal philosophers “cannot produce useful semantic theories of law”. Third, legal philosophy or jurisprudence “is the general part of adjudication, silent prologue to any decision at law”. (shrink)
8.3 The consistency proof -- 8.4 Applications of the consistency proof -- 8.5 Second-order arithmetic -- Problems -- Chapter 9: Set Theory -- 9.1 Axioms for sets -- 9.2 Development of set theory -- 9.3 Ordinals -- 9.4 Cardinals -- 9.5 Interpretations of set theory -- 9.6 Constructible sets -- 9.7 The axiom of constructibility -- 9.8 Forcing -- 9.9 The independence proofs -- 9.10 Large cardinals -- Problems -- Appendix The Word Problem -- Index.
Postema's article discusses, lucidly and probingly, a central jurisprudential idea, which he calls the autonomy thesis. In its general form it is shared by many writers who otherwise support divergent accounts of the nature of law. It is, according to Postema, a thesis that is meant to account for a core idea, that the law's “defining aim is to … unify public political judgment and coordinate social interaction.” In some form or another this core idea is probably supported by Postema (...) himself. However, in this article his concern is to criticize what he takes to be the widespread belief that it is explained by the autonomy thesis. The autonomy thesis is flawed and must be rejected. In arguing to that conclusion he succumbs to one of the unattractive tendencies of contemporary legal and political philosophy, namely he does not discuss anyone's view, but a family of views. This allows one to construct one's target by selecting features from a variety of authors so that the combined picture is in fact no one's view, and all those cited as adhering to it would disagree with it. (shrink)
Further research on the theological contributions of experts at Vatican Council II has led to identifying six texts by Prof. Joseph Ratzinger, which are presented here. The theological themes expressed in these texts include an insistence on the interior dynamics and questioning of human beings in conceiving the present-day "hearer of the word" to which Vatican II will speak. One is not surprised by the Professor's repeated call for doctrinal formulations drawn from the biblical and patristic sources instead of (...) borrowing from recent theological textbooks. The lecture of October 10, 1962, develops, among other topics, an impressive account of God's self-revelation, which has primacy over the codified witness given by Scripture and tradition, which derive from the one fons that is God's self-manifestation. On biblical inspiration the Council should not attempt a systematic account but simply make reference to essential aspects: those active as human authors, their context which is salvation history, and the communities that they served by writing. All missionary activity in the Church arises ultimately from God's love poured out upon the world in the missions of the Son and Spirit and such action has its summa in Jesus' inaugural proclamation, "Be converted and believe in the Gospel" . In approaching its dialogue with the contemporary world, the Church speaks out of a complex conviction combining awareness that hum. (shrink)
This article presents Franz Rosenzweig’s concept of redemption as a vehicle for raising important questions facing humanity when confronting the contemporary movement of Transhumanism (hereafter: TH). The upshot of our discussion is located in the existential questions asked, following a philosophical comparison of Rosenzweig’s religious and philosophical commitment to human life in its most robust form, with TH’s scientistic vision. To do so, the article first discusses some techno-scientistic assumptions of TH, showing that it presumes what was once a core (...) principle of German Idealism, the identity of being with reason, against which Rosenzweig rebelled. Then, the article turns to examine Rosenzweig’s humanistic redemptive vision and its emphasis on the corporeal, the temporal, and the worldly (rather than the purely spiritual, the apocalyptic, and the other-worldly). The conclusion makes explicit the ways in which Rosenzweig’s redemptive vision provides a contrasting model to the one set forth by TH. (shrink)
Joseph Nye coined the term "soft power" in the late 1980s. It is now used frequently—and often incorrectly—by political leaders, editorial writers, and academics around the world. So what is soft power? Soft power lies in the ability to attract and persuade. Whereas hard power—the ability to coerce—grows out of a country's military or economic might, soft power arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies. Hard power remains crucial in a world of states trying (...) to guard their independence and of non-state groups willing to turn to violence. It forms the core of the Bush administration's new national security strategy. But according to Nye, the neo-conservatives who advise the president are making a major miscalculation: They focus too heavily on using America's military power to force other nations to do our will, and they pay too little heed to our soft power. It is soft power that will help prevent terrorists from recruiting supporters from among the moderate majority. And it is soft power that will help us deal with critical global issues that require multilateral cooperation among states. That is why it is so essential that America better understands and applies our soft power. This book is our guide. (shrink)
Moral philosophers are fond of the dictum “ought implies can” and even deontologists normally admit the need to take account of consequences in the design of social institutions. Too often, however, philosophers fail to take advantage of the knowledge provided by the social sciences about the constraints and consequences of alternative forms of social organization. By discussing ideals in abstraction from the problems of institutionalization, they fail at least to see some of the important consequences and costs of a proposed (...) ideal, and sometimes they fail even to understand the ideal itself. (shrink)
The paper argues that normative reasons are of two fundamental kinds, practical which are value related, and adaptive, which are not related to any value, but indicate how our beliefs and emotions should adjust to fit how things are in the world. The distinction is applied and defended, in part through an additional distinction between standard and non-standard reasons (for actions, intentions, emotions or belief).